Sunday, 11 December 2011

Quick pasta sauce for a lazy Sunday like today

Not having to work on a Sunday is great , im not used to it but its oh so lovely. Never really know what to do with myself so I guess I cook. 

So tonight im making the quickest pasta sauce
You will need:  plum tomatoes or regular tomatoes
                olive oil
                sea salt and black pepper
                basil pesto (bought or home made)
                pasta of your choice (bought or home made)
                Brown sugar

To make: Slice tomatoes in half and sprinkle lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little brown sugar( this helps balance out the acidity)
Place the cloves of garlic around the tomatoes, there's no need to remove the skins. Roast for about 30-45 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, make the pasta and rinse off with cold water when cooked then sprinkle with olive oil. This stops the pasta from sticking, my worst!

Once the tomatoes are nice and roasty  and the garlic golden , take them out the oven and squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a food processor or blender and add the tomatoes, pesto and all the juice from the roasting pan. Blend and place on the stove to reduce a little. Check the seasoning and when just right pour over the pasta and toss through the fresh rocket.

This just made a boring Sunday so good!

Monday, 28 November 2011

My very own peanut coconut curry

On the menu tonight is my very own peanut coconut curry with sticky coriander basmati rice...

You will need...  Basmati rice (1 cup to 5 cups water)
                  fresh coriander finely chopped
                  butternut cubed
                  mange tout sliced diagonally
                  julienne carrots
                  garlic fine chopped
                  ginger fine chopped
                  chillies fine chopped
                  onion diced
                  chicken breasts x2
                  1 can of coconut milk ( i use low fat)
                  hand full of toasted almonds or cashews
                  1 Tbs of peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

To make...
Heat your wok and brown the whole chicken breast only turning once to give colour on each side.
Remove from heat and put aside.
Stir fry your onions until translucent, add ginger and garlic and toss continuously.
Add chillies and wait until you can smell all the flavours coming together.
Add butternut and carrots 
Pour in coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Add mange tout and bring down heat to a simmer. 
Mean while slice the partially cooked chicken breasts and add to the curry.
Stir in the peanut butter.
Its important to season throughout the cooking process, but taste the entire time .
If the curry begins to thicken too much ad a little water.

While the veg and chicken cook in the curry and all the flavours are mingling ,start your rice by pouring 5 cups of water into a pot with a pinch of salt bring to the boil. add the cup of rice and cook for 12 minutes this will make delicious rice!
Once the rice is cooked(test it) strain, rinse, season and stir through the coriander. 

Check that your vegetables are now cooked but still have a bite to them. check the chicken as well. Add the almonds
Dish up and eat up!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

breakfast for dinner

Ok so im currently on a little holiday because i have a new job so im taking a break  in between which has been awesome! 

Ive been promising some of my friends that i would make them poached eggs hollandaise and i finally got a round it to it..even if it was for dinner,it was yum!

All you need is : eggs (whole and yolks)
                  white wine vinegar
                  bread for toast
                  cold butter cut into blocks

To make the hollandaise place a bowl over a pot of boiling water, separate 3 eggs and put the whites aside. Add 2 Tbl white wine vinegar to the yolks and whisk the mix over the pot of boiling water until it becomes thick and reaches what we call 'ribbon stage' this is when the egg and vinegar mix is thick enough you can form a figure of 8 on the surface. Now you can start adding the ice-cold blocks of butter one at a time whisking continuously and not stopping (very important)you will need about 300g of butter for 3 yolks. Once all the butter has been added remove from the heat add lemon juice and season.

To poach the eggs get the biggest pot you have in the house and bring the pot to the boil and add a good splash of white wine vinegar. For the eggs use fresh, free- range eggs they will give you the best poachies!
Break the eggs into cups and when the water is at a good simmer drop the eggs in( 2 at a time) and put the lid on. Poach for 2 mins 30 secs for soft poach 3-4 mins for medium poached and about 5 mins for hard. To reheat the eggs while you prepare the toast, bacon, asparagus etc, just drop them in the boiling water for 1 minute and they will be perfect!

You can add crispy streaky bacon, asparagus, rocket or Parmesan. these are the best combinations.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Some where over the rainbow

This is a a cake for a bad if you're having one make it!

Rainbow cake with marshmallow meringue icing

You will need:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter (lightly salted)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

To make this

1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 4 minutes ,dont skip this 

2. Add sugar, and continue beating for another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and stir on low until just combined.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Add to eggs and sugar on low speed until just combined.

4. In a saucepan(or microwave), heat milk and butter on low heat just until butter is melted.  Add to batter, beat just until combined.

5. Separate the mixture in 5 or 6 bowls and add whatever food colouring that makes you smile into each bowl and mix (use alot of colour to get the best effect)

6.Pour each colour into a greased 21cm springform tin so it looks like this...

And now you'll be stuck with this mess but its fine cause it will be all worth it in the end.. you'll see

Bake at 180 for about 30 mins until it springs back when touched, until you get this..

Let the cake cool on a wire wrack

To make marshmallowy meringue frosting....

Grab 2 eggs and some castor sugar. 
Separate the eggs and beat until foamy and thick, start adding the castor sugar slowly a little at a time.Beat well in between adding sugar.
Keep adding small amounts of sugar until the meringue looks glossy and smooth! (check this by feeling the meringue in between your fingers if you cant feel granules if smooth its ready, other wise carry on beating until smooth)

Smooth this over the cake and your done ( i added edible glitter for more fun) Mmmmm

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Tea and cake for your face

Sorry for the long wait for a new post, shocking i know..i'm still waiting for some more ideas from 'what can i make for you' then i'll actually do it!

But for now here are some cake ideas ..cant give the recipes though cause they from work so you'll just have to come eat there and try, plus some things have to remain a secret!

red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and pecan nuts

Two tone icing on rose water cupcakes

red velvet cupcakes with ribbon decoration

olive oil, apple and maple cake

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Chicken pie so good you'll laugh and cry at the same time

My chef friend John told me the other day he has this amazing recipe for chicken pie that he knew from work, he said we had to try it out.. so we made it for a couple of friends and it lost for words. John and i studied together at chef school and it was rather fun being back in the kitchen with him.

Heres what

1 whole chicken
Puff pastry, bought or home made (we used home made)
Mirepoix veg (carrots, leeks, onions for a veg stock)
Bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme
Mushrooms (we used a mix of brown and button)
Cream and butter
A splash of white wine

Heres how

Chop up all the veg reserving some onion and leek for later.
Remove the wings from the chicken and salt the bird.
Put all the veg, thyme, bay leaves, pepper corns and chicken in a pot and full with water until the chicken is completely covered.

Leave this at a simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Roll out your puff pastry cut and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and place in a container with a lid.
Strain the liquid from the stock.
Sweat off the remaining onions and the chicken wings in a little butter and add the splash of wine, then add the stock and let it reduce by at least a 3rd.
While the sauce is becoming delicious, pick all the chicken off the bone and put the bones in the sauce pot, put the meat in a bowl.
Bake the brushed puff pastry rounds until risen and golden
Saute the leeks then mushrooms in butter and add to the chicken meat.Add a tablespoon of the tarragon mustard
Once the sauce starts to look sticky then its ready add about 200ml of cream and swirl.
Add the sauce to the chicken,leeks and mushrooms and mix.
You have to taste now its so so good!!
Plate up with yum chicken and veg mixture and place the pastry rounds on top.
We just served this with a tarragon mustard creamy mash.

This is honestly the best pie in whole world!
I only wish i head a better camera..oh well enjoy

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Home made pizza with the boys

Its been way too long..

Works been a tad busy due to the fact that im on my own in the kitchen and im baking all the yummy treats now as well. I have been cooking, but not as much. My lovely friend Bruce came over and we made a joint effort of home made pizza night(he makes super delicious bases)..seriously make your own bases, its well worth are some pictures, we ate ourselves silly !